What a week of contrasts! Lovely sunshine, but bitterly cold winds. Oh well, at least the crags are dry. I've been working for Duchy College again this week. We've had some great days out on the inland crags of Cornwall - Hawks Tor, Cheesewring Quarry and the delightful, semi-secret crag at St Clether, known locally as Vicarage Rocks. We also managed a raid on The Dewerstone (Dartmoor's best crag).
The students are keen to learn about 'lead climbing' and all that entails, so I spent most of my time dangling off a static rope on a set of jummars, coaching them on their protection placements and how to rest, while climbing (preserve those forearm muscles!!). Some of the students climb really well indoors, in fact most of them could burn me off with their bouldering skills, but as soon as they are faced with climbing on real rock, and moving above their own, leader placed protection, their legs turn to jelly, even on easy ground. It just goes to prove that there's more to climbing than physicality, there's a cerebral side to the game too! For me, this is one of the reasons I climb. I love the feeling of running it out above protection that I have placed myself, and not knowing where the next bit of gear will be. Fixed gear (bolts and pegs) remove a lot of that element and, I think, detracts the quality of the climbing experience. Hopefully, the students will appreciate this, given time.